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Microsoft Azure makes business productivity easier and more secure with updates across SQL Server, Enterprise Mobility, and Azure Media Services offerings

Today, we are advancing our offering to deliver features and innovating to improve your efficiency.

In today’s fast paced environment, enterprises are looking for feature enhancements that offer more flexibility and make the lives of the enterprise user easier and more productive. Today, we are advancing our offering to deliver features that do just that. From managing workloads in the cloud with SQL Server, monitoring access with Active Directory, or delivering premium Media Content – Microsoft Azure is innovating to improve your efficiency.

Great options in Azure for your SQL Server enterprise workloads

Today we announced four new reasons why Azure is the ideal cloud for your enterprise’s SQL Server workloads. Starting with general availability today in Europe of the latest version of SQL Database, which introduces near-complete SQL Server engine compatibility, greater support for larger databases, and expanded Premium performance. We are also introducing a suite of security features coming to the latest version of Azure SQL Database; Row-level Security (available in preview today) and coming soon Dynamic Data Masking and Transparent Data Encryption. For SQL Server on an Azure virtual machine, customers now have more simplified availability, setup, backup, and patching for SQL Server in an Azure VM while new auto HA setup capabilities using the AlwaysOn Portal Template were added for SQL Server in Azure VMs and can help save you significant time and effort. We have also made backups easier with the ability to automate full SQL Server level backup from an Azure VM to Azure Storage and introduced new auto patching capability for more granular control over the Windows Update scheduler. Whether you are looking to run your SQL Server workload in an Azure virtual machine or via the SQL Database managed service, there’s no better time than now to move your enterprise workloads to the cloud or build new applications with Microsoft Azure. Read more about today’s announcements.

Enterprise Mobility makes authentication more secure and transparent

Security is more than ever a critical concern for enterprise customers around the world, due to the increasing reliance on computing services from any device, anywhere, and anytime for essential operations. Enterprise organizations are looking for increased security options to better protect their users and assets. To enhance application access management, Microsoft Azure Active Directory is introducing, in public preview, conditional access policies that can enforce Multi-Factor Authentication per application. Also in public preview, Connect Health helps monitor and gain insights into the identity infrastructure used to extend on-premises identities to the cloud, such as ADFS. Delegating administration of Azure resources is becoming more granular with the 21 additional built-in roles of Azure Role-Based Access Control in the Azure Preview Portal. For more details, please visit the Active Directory team blog .

Easier migration and control with Azure RMS

Azure RMS is making migration easier with the introduction of the Azure RMS migration toolkit. Organizations that are looking to move from AD RMS to Azure RMS can now use the Azure RMS migration toolkit that enables AD RMS and Windows RMS customers to migrate to Azure RMS without losing access to their existing RMS-protected content or their policies. Azure RMS is also introducing in public preview departmental templates that allow administrators to define a list of groups or individual users that can apply a particular template to protect documents. Additionally, to help organizations carry a phased deployment of Azure RMS, we’re introducing Onboarding controls. These controls allow users to designate a subset of users who can start to protect content with Azure RMS. Check out our Azure RMS sharing application for Windows Phone at Windows Phone store to serve all of your RMS needs on the go. Please visit the RMS blog for more details on today’s announcement.

General Availability of Content Protection for Azure Media Services

Finally, we are very excited to announce that our robust Content Protection feature for Azure Media Services is now generally available for both live and on-demand workflows and backed by the full support of the Azure Service-Level Agreement (SLA). Piracy is a top concern for premium media content, and with the GA of Content Protection for Azure Media Services you can use the same industry-leading license delivery and AES 128-bit encryption key delivery service that securely delivered the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with a guaranteed 99.9% Azure SLA. Here at Microsoft Azure, we’re proud to continue to innovate to make cloud workflows work for you. Go to Azure.com today to learn more and to get started with a free trial.